Creating Voice to Text and Audio Files in Microsoft OneNote

Last week, I wrote about how Microsoft OneNote can be used as a reader for individuals. You can check that post out here. This week, I will go over how to use both Voice to Text and audio recordings in Microsoft OneNote as well as how to share an assignment done / saved in OneNote with another. Voice to Text can really help individuals to get their thoughts down without being bogged down simply trying to figure out how to write each word on paper.

Microsoft OneNote is absolutely FREE to use. You just need to download the app or, if on a laptop, sign up for an account here.

iPad app Microsoft OneNote

For the purposes of this post, I am going to focus on using the Microsoft OneNote app on an iPad.

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Why Use Voice to Text?

Voice to text can be especially helpful when we are more concerned about what an individual knows than we are about the manner in which the individual expresses what he/she knows. Many individuals can easily say what they know, but when required to write it out, may struggle to express it. These are the individuals that a voice to text option is ideal for.

Allowing voice to text to be used opens the door for those individuals who struggle with writing to get a lot more information down than if we are only concerned about how they can write down that same information.

Using Voice to Text in Microsoft OneNote

The easiest way to use the voice to text option when using the OneNote app on an iPad is to tap anywhere on the Home screen, touch the microphone icon (next to the smiley face at the bottom left of the page), and start talking.

Voice to text in OneNote

OneNote does understand punctuation commands. If you would like to insert a comma, you can say comma when speaking to insert one. At the end of the sentence, say period and it will type one. The program will automatically add a space between the period and the first word in the new sentence. I have included more basic punctuation commands further below.

When using voice to text, it is important to still be aware of punctuation. The best way for students to make sure their work now makes sense is to have them click on the View tab, followed by Immersive Reader. This will allow for the writing to be read back to the individual. If things do not make sense, assuming Siri has picked up the words said accurately, encourage the individual to add a period or two to break up sentences. Often the individual will be able to make note of what is not making sense and correct it.

View tab in Microsoft OneNote

Immersive Reader in Microsoft OneNote

Punctuation Commands to Know when using Voice to Text

Although an individual can always go in after the fact and add punctuation into a document, it is often easier to do when in the moment. Some common punctuation commands include the following:

“period” or “full stop” = .

“comma” = ,

“exclamation point” = !

“question mark” = ?

“quote” followed by “end quote” = “ ”

“dot” or “point” = . (decimal)

“hyphen” = –

“apostrophe” = ‘

“new paragraph” = starting on a new line

“ellipsis” = …

Adding an Audio File as Opposed to Voice to Text

For those many occasions when it is simply easier to say an answer and there is no concern at all about how it is written, it may be easier to simply add an audio file to a document. To do this, click on the Insert tab. From here, an audio file can be added by tapping where you would like it to be inserted on the screen, followed by tapping on the Audio icon. It will automatically start to record until the individual clicks Stop Recording.

Audio Recording in Microsoft OneNote

The files will automatically be named Audio 1, Audio 2 and so on. To rename a recorded file, simply click on the file. A cardinal directions symbol will show up with options listed above it. One of the options is Rename. Click on this to rename the file and then save the new name.

Renaming audio file in Microsoft OneNote

Don’t like where the audio file recorded on the page? No problem! Simply click on it and keep your finger on the cardinal directions symbol to move the file to wherever you would like it to be moved to.

Moving an audio file by dragging and dropping

How To Share a File with Another

Whether this is an assignment for school or just something the individual wishes to share with another, know that a file within OneNote can easily be shared.

To share a file, simply tap on the Share icon (second icon in the row of icons on the top right of the page).

Sharing a file in Microsoft OneNote

From here, the option to Invite People to Notebook is given. This can be used when wanting to collaborate with another individual on a document and work on it together.

However, if a document was created within OneNote as an assignment or is to be handed over to another, you may wish to send a copy. From here, you have the choice to Email with Outlook or Send with Another App.  

Sharing files in OneNote

When Send with Another App is chosen, all kinds of options come up. It really is so simple to share a document or assignment with another.

Options for sharing a Microsoft OneNote file

Looking for More In-Depth Information?

If you want to know all Microsoft OneNote has to offer, you may wish to check out the resource Microsoft OneNote Step by Step.

Looking for ideas for truly incorporating technology when working with individuals? If so, please check out The Google Infused Classroom: A Guidebook for Making Thinking Visible and Amplifying Student Voice by Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith.

If you are looking for more information as to what may be factors behind an individual’s ability to read with ease, I welcome you to sign in to watch a FREE tutorial regarding this here. Understanding is the key to breaking through that reading barrier once and for all!

Creating voice to text and audio files in Microsoft OneNote

Looking for More App Ideas?

Check out a previous blog post I wrote entitled 6 must have writing apps.

How about you?

Do you have a favorite app you use for either a loved one or for yourself? Please share it by letting us know in the comments below!

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  1. I’m absolutely obsessed with anything that makes my life easier and saves me time and this is definitely one of them. Wasn’t quite sure how to do this, but this article has filled in the blanks. Thanks.

  2. This sounds incredibly useful! I may have to try it for my blog thoughts on the go. But I’ll also share it with my dad who has a disease that will eventually restrict his hand movement completely.

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